When it comes to QWERTY phones, Nokia seems to know what it’s doing. Aside from BlackBerry, Nokia’s enjoying a lot of success with their lot of QWERTY phones and the Nokia Asha 302 is following the footsteps of its bigger brothers.
The Nokia Asha 302 belongs to the Asha 300 family of 1GHz Series 40 phones. The Asha 300 has numerical keypad, the Asha 302 has a QWERTY keypad while the Asha 303 also has a QWERTY keypad but comes with a touchscreen. If you don’t want to pay more for a touchscreen, the Asha 302 looks like the best choice.
Check out our review and see if the Asha 302 is indeed the best choice for your needs.
Upon opening the box, I was greeted with a premium-looking QWERTY handset. I thought to myself, is this really an Asha phone? It looks like the Nokia E6 with the stylish chrome sidings and the serious-looking paint job commonly found on mid to high-end Nokia phones.
Compared to the Nokia E6, the Asha 302 is slightly thicker for a more better grip. And if you’re not familiar with the button layout of the E6, you can easily mistake this for it. However, looking closely you would see how Nokia made the Asha 302 affordable.
On top you’ll find the microUSB port for data and charging, the audio jack, and Nokia’s proprietary pin charging port. The left side has the covered slot for the hot-swappable microSD. That’s it. What I’m sorely missing are the volume buttons, and also maybe a pause/play button for my music.
The QWERTY keys is just the right size although it’s a bit more curved making your nail slide down to the side of a key. It doesn’t help that the keys are a bit stiff as well compared to the comfortable keys on the E6.
There are also dedicated buttons on each side of the direction pad for Contacts and Conversations. Nokia gives you the option to customize these buttons for other actions as well.
The back has that nice metallic matte finish that prevents it from attracting prints and smudges. You’ll see the plain 3.15 megapixel fixed-focus lens beside the speaker grill. Opening the back panel is easily done simply by pressing the latch near the bottom.
Believe it or not but this affordable feature phone packs a 1GHz processor which I think is an overkill for the S40 platform. Only 128MB RAM is included which shouldn’t be a problem considering there’s no true multitasking here. Internal storage is limited to 100MB so using a microSD card (up to 32GB) here should be the norm.
Navigating depends on how fast you can click your buttons although I find the phone having a slower time accessing big photos stored on my microSD card.
The 2.4-inch display on this phone has a 240 x 320 resolution and only sports 256K colors, just the basics. There’s only one homescreen which gives you quick access to your favorite contacts and apps and that’s it. If you wish to access the settings and other apps, the Menu view shows the familiar rounded square icons of Nokia.
The Nokia Asha 302 is designed mainly for those who needs to stay connected to their office e-mail. It’s one of the few phones at this price point that can access your office’s Exchange server. Setting up your Yahoo!, Gmail, Hotmail, and Ovi mail is easy and the phone offers “œpush” features for mail if you’re always connected. Too bad you can’t pull your calendar or CalDAV online directly to the phone, you need to let it pass through the Nokia Suite and sync it.
I like the option that you can use Conversation view when viewing your text messages. However, the conversations are snipped (unlike on the E6) so you can’t simply scroll down to view them, you have to click the message to view full content.
For social networks, the Asha 302 can do Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Orkut. They are independent apps and are not integrated with let’s say your contacts or calendar. Facebook is a bit stripped down design-wise although you would still see photos and have access to other features. Flickr is not integrated to the camera by the way, you can only upload photos from your gallery. Whatsapp comes pre-installed by the way. This app lets you send and receive messages to your Whatsapp friends over 3G or WiFi.
The Nokia browser loads really fast although don’t expect exact rendering of websites because it’s built to compress data to save you some cash. If you’re wondering about YouTube, there’s no dedicated app for it but you can access it via the browser then the video will play on the phone’s media player.
The phones comes with a few games to keep you busy but you can also download some more at the Nokia store.
The Nokia Asha 302 does not skimp on connectivity. It supports both 3.5G and WiFi for your internet needs. Too bad there’s no option to use this as a WiFi hotspot or for internet tethering.
I didn’t see any option to completely turn off mobile data which is odd. The only solution was to choose a different access point or delete the access points altogether. When using 3G all day, I suggest getting the KB-based services because the Asha 302 does its own compression in the background for web browsing, mails and when accessing your social network accounts.
As for the camera, don’t expect much, or anything at all from it’s 3.15 megapixel lens. I won’t use it even to upload photos on Facebook or Flickr. I guess having used the cameras on real smartphones, I forgot how photos from an entry-level phone looks like. It’s the same as the quality as that of phones a decade ago, only with bigger resolution.
Comparing to other feature phones, the battery on the Nokia Asha 302 is just average. I could get over 2 day’s worth of battery when WiFi and 3G is off. When they’re on all the time, I could barely squeeze in a day’s worth.
Going back to my previous statement, the Nokia Asha 302 is a premium-looking phone that will only cost you Php5,290. What I like about it besides the looks is its WiFi and 3.5G connectivity, and easy access to your mail and Facebook. The QWERTY keypad is very functional but the stiff keys might take a while to get used to. The camera here is something you won’t be proud of but I believe there’s no phone in this price point that can give you good photos anyway.
For the Php5,290 price you’re paying for this phone, you’re already getting your money’s worth on a QWERTY handset. Nice looks, nice build, fast internet, and nice support from Nokia Care.
|Nokia Asha 302 Specs:|
|2.4-inch TFT screen (240 x 320), 256K colors|
|Series 40 OS|
|1 GHz processor|
|100MB storage, 256 MB ROM, 128 MB RAM|
|Up to 32GB microSD support|
|HSDPA 14.4 Mbps, HSUPA 5.76 Mbps|
|Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n|
|3.15 megapixel camera|
|VGA video recording @ 15fps|
|Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP, EDR|
|Stereo FM radio with RDS|
|Dark Grey, Mid Blue, Plum Red, White, Golden Light|
|Li-Ion 1320 mAh battery (BL-5J)|